Do Non-Compete Clauses Hurt Growth?

IPM’s View of Non-Compete Clauses in the Workplace Today.

A recent New York Times article stated that non-compete agreements are becoming much more widespread in today’s employment arena. The logic, especially true in our IT environment, is that “data” and “knowledge” have become increasingly important to protect in the competitive marketplace. However, IPM has always believed that these protections should be balanced against an individual’s right to enhance their career path. For that reason, IPM has never had a non-compete clause in our employment agreements. We have found that having our consultants sign non-disclosure agreements is an adequate way to protect our clients’ proprietary information.

“If we treat our employees as we should, as respected members of the IPM corporate family, they will be loyal to us, but they should have a right to pursue all available opportunities” said Sheila McIlnay, Founder and CEO of IPM. “It is our philosophy to treat each employee with the utmost respect and fairness. Both our consultants and clients appreciate that approach” continued McIlnay.

In our 25 year history, we have been lucky enough to have consultants work with us in multiple engagements, often years apart.  “I have been put in the position of negotiating a release from a prior employer’s non-compete clause on behalf of a consultant who wanted to come to work for us and a particular client,” said Steve Young, IPM’s COO and General Counsel. “We never want to place our consultant or our client in that position, so we have consciously made the business and quite frankly “moral” decision to put our people first and never have non-compete agreements.”

While IPM does not require or promote non-compete clauses, we are sensitive to and protective of any intellectual and proprietary rights. Andy Bishop, IPM’s Vice President Resource Management put it best, “Our employees appreciate that we do not hamper their opportunity to find a great job and make a living by not handcuffing them contractually.”  Unfortunately, not all companies feel that way.

Read the full New York Times article